a personal short film

My goal with this project was to go through the exercise of developing a very short animated film from start to finish. I wanted to explore a specific style and to work on creating a sense of place.


I wanted to think of a very basic idea that was almost just a single scene, rather than a long story. The log line I landed on was "A character on an unknown planet witnesses a crash landing from a distance and ventures out to investigate." Once I had that idea I wrote a few scripts out to flush it out a bit more. You can take a look at 3 initial scripts here.


Once I had the idea, I started to do some research and put together a mood board. This is designed to give me inspiration for tone and style. It was also an opportunity to see some options for color.
The next step was to start to imagine the world and what kinds of shots I might want to include. The storyboard is essential for beating out the story. To get my initial ideas out I like to use pencil and paper.
Once I had settled on my shots I sketched them out in photoshop. I originally included a large crater at the end, but for a variety of reasons I decided to cut it.

Before I could get into actually designing the scenes I needed to develop the character designs. This was a bit tough, because I wanted to keep them really simple, but still convincing.

After I had sketched out my boards and created my characters in Illustrator I needed to go and build all the scenes as well. I wanted to utilize a very limited monochromatic color pallet and also keep all the the forms very simple and basic.

This is the fun part, bringing it all to life with music and animation. I went to premiumbeat.com for the music. I searched until I found a track that felt like the tone I was going for.

This was pretty much my first time doing any kind of walk cycle. It was a lot of fun. Definitely not perfect but I'm happy with how it turned out.
Another fun aspect was animating the hair. I did it all frame by frame in Adobe Animate CC. This was also new territory for me, so it was quite an adventure.
Along with the textures, lighting was one of the last things I did. I used a technique that I learned from Andrew Kramer. Below you can see a step by step of the effect.
Thanks for reading!